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Data show concealed carry trends

7/24/2014

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

It's not something people often think about when they sit in a restaurant or load groceries into a shopping cart: Somewhere in that crowd, there just might be an individual with a gun under his shirt or stuck in a purse.

There's a concealed carry permit issued to one in every 25 people in northwest Kansas, according to new -- and some of the most expansive -- figures released by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office.

The data, however, only broadly paints a picture of the concealed carry situation in Kansas.

For example, Schmidt's data breaks down the number of concealed carry permits by county, but only provides a total since licenses started being issued in January 2007.

A spokesman for Schmidt's office said the information isn't available on an annual basis, and would require considerable work to pull the information from individual files.

But the numbers do show 87,250 concealed carry permits have been issued by Kansas. That's out of the 90,958 applications filed with the attorney general's office.

The 3,438 applications rejected represents just 3 percent of the total received.

It's difficult to get information about concealed carry because the Legislature closed access to much of the information.

It's been especially busy in the concealed carry business as well.

Fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, saw 14,205 applications for concealed carry permits. Schmidt's office didn't report how many of those permits were approved, however.

That's the second highest year on record, down from FY2013, when more than 25,000 applications were filed. Schmidt's annual report to the Legislature, however, said it issued 20,299 permits, while denying only 47. The annual report said 86 licenses were suspended and 29 others revoked.

A year earlier, 12,407 applications were submitted, but the annual report said 10,424 permits were issued. Another 48 were denied, 52 suspended and 32 revoked.

In both years, most of the denials were a result of prior criminal convictions.

Getting a concealed carry permit is relatively easy, according to instructions posted by Schmidt's office.

A single eight-hour class is required, with the greatest portion of the time spent on issues surrounding the use of legal force.

Another 2.5 hours is spent on the use of firearms and qualification on the shooting range.

Eighteen of 25 shots must hit the scoring portion of the target.

Just 30 minutes is allocated for the written test. Anything short of getting all 25 questions right will require retesting, in either written or verbal form as a group or as an individual.

Northwest Kansas has 30 registered instructors, in 11 of the 20 counties, many of whom are active or retired law enforcement officers.

Kansas concealed carry licenses are honored in 36 other states. Kansas recognizes permits issued by any state.

In addition to the fee charged for the class, the permit costs $132.50, $100 of which goes to Schmidt's office.